All over Facebook, I’m seeing a lot of my friends posting memes about how much they hate “adulting.” And, yeah, I’ll give it to you, things like doing the dishes, paying bills, making sure you get your tires rotated are all boring and annoying aspects of adulting. But as the mother of two small children, sometimes I feel as though I could use a little more adulting in my life. Or at least, I could use an increase in adult activities and entertainment. The last movie I saw in theaters was 12 Years A Slave in 2013 (that was a really perky date night, let me tell you). If we go to a restaurant, it’s somewhere with crayons on the table to do the maze on the placemat. I spend a lot of time around cartoons and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and coloring. But here’s my little secret. Shhh. Come closer.
Here it is: Most of the time I really dig it. And I don’t even mean in the annoying “I just loooooooove staying home with my babies sooooooooo muuuuuuuuuch that they’re worth all the sacrifice” martyr way. I mean that I actually like cartoons and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and coloring. Because they’re fun. And I know I’m not alone.
I know lots of my fellow parents are in the same boat because we talk about it. We’ll discuss the fact that our children have been watching Brave every day for the past two months, and then we’ll start asking one another nuanced questions about the plot. At that point, we usually pull back a little bit and laugh like, “Haha! Oh #momlife, yo! What a silly, not-serious conversation we’re having about this cartoon.” But secretly you both know that we always cry when Merida and Elinor have that big fight, and then again at the end when she thinks her mom has been turned into a bear forever.
Of course, what we love most about these activities, fun as they are, is that they give us the opportunity to connect with our children on their level. And we like that! We love hanging out with our kids. In fact, here are some signs that perhaps you, too, love hanging out with your kids more than other adults:
You Have Opinions On Which One Of Tinkerbell’s Friends Is The Coolest
It’s obviously Zarina. She’s an alchemist pirate captain fairy. Name one aspect of who she is that isn’t dope as hell. My 4-year-old son agrees with me, so I’m obviously on the right side of history here. But for whatever reason, other adults just don’t get that this is an important discussion to have.
You’ve Really Perfected Your Play-Doh Technique
There is little on this earth more therapeutic and calming than sitting down and rolling out some Play-Doh. That relaxation ends when you have to fish a big wad of the stuff out of your baby’s mouth (I swear that girl eats Play-Doh the way some people eat hummus), but for a while, it’s great. But alas, this is not something you can really suggest doing with your gal pals on a Friday night.
“Kiddie” Pool Is A Misnomer
Same goes for “Kid’s Meals” or anything else prefixed by “Kid” in any way. Those marketers aren’t the boss of you. You’re the mom, damnit! Besides, you bought the pool, so technically it’s kind of yours anyway. But inviting another adult to sit in a kiddie pool with you gets awkward fast. You are sort of limited to going in with your children or sitting in one by yourself and hope your neighbors don’t see.
You Listen To The 'Frozen' Soundtrack Even When You’re Alone In The Car
Whatever. You liked Idina back when she was Maureen and Elphaba. The woman has the voice of a brassy angel.
You Are Distracted At Cocktail Parties Thinking About How The Cushions On The Couch Would Make A Perfect Fort
And OMG that gorgeous chevron throw blanket would be an absolutely perfect front door! WHY AREN’T WE ALL WORKING TOGETHER TO MAKE A FORT?! You’re stupid, other adults!
Your Wardrobe Choices Include Items From Your Child’s Dress-Up Box
At least when you don’t have to leave the house. Unfortunately, when you do have to be seen in public you heave a sigh and take off the tutu and Batman cape. This is why it’s more fun to stay home.
As You Nibble Cheese And Crackers At A Party, You Think “Can A Girl Get A String Cheese Up In Here?”
You really do forget how good they are until you buy them for your kids, try what they leave on their plate and think, “Why did we ever stop eating these!?” but you dare not question aloud.
You Prefer Shopping For Kids Clothes to Actual Clothing
Obviously not for you to wear (I hope), but to dress up your little humans. They’re so cute and it’s way more fun shopping with them than shopping with a friend because your friend keeps making poor decisions. (Stop trying to tell yourself you’re going to start wearing jumpsuits, Sheila. You’re never going to wear a jumpsuit and it’s just going to sit in your closet.)
Adult dress = $$$$$
Baby dress = $
You’re Miffed That None Of Your Friends Ever Want To Order Dessert
They’re lying to themselves and you all know it. They do want dessert, but they don’t want to be seen as wanting a dessert. You want dessert, too, but you don’t want to be the lone person at your table with a brownie sundae. This is literally never an issue with your kids.